The Playwriting Concentration

The MFA playwriting program embraces diverse voices and aesthetics. There are many ways to write a great play, exemplified by our faculty, which includes Tony©, Pulitzer, and Obie Award winners such as Charles Mee, Lynn Nottage, and David Henry Hwang. This program seeks to help each student find their own unique and idiosyncratic voice, and help each play grow into the best version of itself.

We take a practical approach to preparing graduates for careers as dramatists, by offering courses and experience in the full range of dramatic writing, including television, film, and musical theatre, under the guidance of instructors like Tony© Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori and iconic TV showrunner Matt Williams.

 

Because we believe playwrights need to hear their work and see it staged, two years of reading and critiquing student work are supplemented by workshop productions. The third year includes professional development led by the concentration head, with each student receiving a full production of their thesis play, mentored by their favorite dramatist or other theatre professional.

 

This program is large enough to offer a wide range of courses, and small enough for each writer to gain the personal attention necessary to facilitate their all-important artistic growth.

Upcoming Events:

 

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming events.

Notable Alumni

David Wiener '01 (Fear the Walking Dead)

Bathsheba Doran '03 (The Mystery of Love and Sex)

Beau Willimon '03 (House of Cards)

Jocelyn Bioh '08 (School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play)

Celine Song '14 (Endlings

Raquel Almazan '15 (La Paloma Prisoner)

Ming Peiffer '16 (Usual Girls)

Matthew Barbot '17 (El Conqui Espectacular and The Bottle of Doom)

The Playwright's Room

The Playwright’s Room is a series featuring the newest cohort of Columbia Playwriting students. These playwrights study under the tutelage of David Henry Hwang and Lynn Nottage. ​

The Playwright’s Room: Emma Schillage

The Playwright’s Room: Emma Schillage

February 19, 2021

Schillage is an actor, writer, singer, and director from New Orleans, Louisiana.

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The Playwright’s Room: Alle Mims

The Playwright’s Room: Alle Mims

February 9, 2021

Mims, originally from San Diego but earned her BA in acting/directing at Texas Woman’s University, explores race and class, gender and sexuality, and power and abuse, through satire and dark humor in her writing.

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The Playwright's Room: DeAndre C. Short

The Playwright's Room: DeAndre C. Short

February 1, 2021

This week, Playwriting student DeAndre C. Short sat down with us in The Playwright’s Room. Short is a playwright born and raised in Virginia.

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The Playwright’s Room: Catt Filippov

The Playwright’s Room: Catt Filippov

January 26, 2021

This week, we sat down with Catt Filippov, a Russian-Canadian playmaker from Toronto, whose first play, The Stray Sheep Cabaret: Or, How to Become a Ghost and Stay That Way, was developed as part of Nightwood Theatre’s Write From the Hip emerging playwrights program in 2019.

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